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Tweaking Blackjack Strategy4 May 2013
Hi, it’s Amy again from the UK. Now that I have a little more time I'd like to share with you and your readers a couple of tips we use in playing Basic Strategy for Blackjack. We realize of course we can't ultimately win except for lucky streaks, which is always fun without counting cards which we don't do, as my partner is now over 70 years old, and errors would hurt us but we do remarkably well by 'tweaking' Basic Strategy a little.
I've already mentioned we often split tens when a lot of low cards have already been played we also hit on a two card sixteen against a dealer 7 or higher but stand on a three card sixteen. We might increase our bet by 50% or more if we see at least eight more low cards than high cards on a full table. Basic Strategy cards don't tell you these things we call it Optimum Basic Strategy and we seem to have a lot of 'lucky streaks' with it.
Although we never take insurance or even money on blackjacks, if we both get them at the same time and the dealer has a ten or ace we take even money on one but not on the other.
We sometimes gamble on the dealer busting. We figure the chances of a dealer busting are higher on a 6 ... 5 ... 4 ... in that order – maybe 40-45% in reverse order so we often take advantage of that. I look forward to your comments on this.
Oh I forgot to mention, we also always split 8's and Aces no matter what the dealer has which is sometimes scary if the dealer has an Ace or other high card. This is particularly so if we have just increased our bets. Also, although we always hit with a 12 against a dealer's 4 or higher, if it is a ten and a 2 we often stand with a 7-5 ... 8-4 ... or 9-3. I guess we can call this our 'lucky streak' method.
I have a few comments.
Some of the things you are doing mimic card counting such as increasing your bet by 50 percent or more if there are eight low cards on a full table. Other things mimic basic strategy like hitting a two card 16 and standing on a three card 16. And still other things are basic strategy such as always splitting aces and 8’s.
The only thing I totally disagree with is taking even money on one blackjack and not on the other. However, it is your money you are putting at risk and you can bet any way you see fit. Just keep in mind that the further you are from basic strategy, the more you will lose.
You mention you do not count cards because your partner is 70 and afraid of making mistakes. There is a very simple card counting method called Speed Count that can give you an advantage at blackjack with only a few hours of work. It is described in the book "Beat Blackjack Now!: The Easiest Way to Get and Edge!" by Frank Scoblete.
Incidentally, the strategy charts in Speed Count are called “Optimum Basic Strategy.” The difference between your “Optimum Basic Strategy” and the others is the Speed Count charts have been mathematically formulated to actually be optimum. It is no harder to learn than standard basic strategy. I would give Speed Count a try. It just may be exactly what you are looking for to give you and your partner an edge at the game.
May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and tiny.
Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. His new book is “Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker” which is available on Amazon.com. Stickman and Frank Scoblete give private lessons in dice control. You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at firstname.lastname@example.org
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